According to the Parkison’s Foundation, more than 10 million people worldwide are suffering from Parkinson’s disease (PD). In the US, 60,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.
PD can’t be cured, but treatment can help to improve the symptoms. Treatment usually includes surgical therapy, lifestyle changes, and medications, such as levodopa and carbidopa.
In the recent past, studies have revealed that an antibiotic known as doxycycline can be effective in the treatment of PD. In this post, we are going to learn more about this drug and a few reasons why you should use it.
Keep on reading to learn more.
What Is Doxycycline Anyway?
This is typically a tetracycline antibiotic that works by fighting bacteria in the body. Doxycycline is used to treat different conditions, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, acne, intestinal infections, eye infections, urinary tract infections, and gum disease.
According to Science Daily, this antibiotic has been used for over half a century to manage bacterial infections. It can also be used to manage or treat malaria, severe acne, and rosacea.
Pregnant women are not advised to take this medication as it could harm the baby or cause permanent tooth discoloration later in their kid’s life. Also, if you are allergic to any tetracycline antibiotic, it’s advisable not to take this drug.
You can find this antibiotic in several brand names including Oracea, Monodox, Doryx, Alodox, Acticlate, Adoxa, Oraxyl, Mondoxyne NL, Targadox, and Morgidox.
Why is it Used for PD?
Originally, this drug was not manufactured for the treatment of PD. It was accidentally discovered it prevents the death of dopaminergic neurons in Brazil. This was after several research mice were mistakenly fed chow containing the antibiotic. The mice had been induced with PD.
After examining the mice, the Brazillian researchers found that they had no PD symptoms. This was an exciting discovery, and research teams from France and Argentina worked with the Brazilians to study more on the effects of the drug on a protein known as alpha-synuclein.
According to researchers, this protein is believed to be the major player in the death of dopaminergic neurons. It causes the spread of PD by damaging the cell membranes and cells. This is something that never happened after the mice took doxy-laced food. In fact, the antibiotic increased the survival of cells by 80 percent.
Here are some reasons why you should take this drug to manage Parkinson’s disease.
1.) It’s a Safe Drug
Doxy is generally a safe drug, and it’s only prescribed in low doses to control PD, and it’s symptoms. It’s well tolerated in humans as it has been used for years to treat different conditions, including acne.
It works by penetrating into the brain, and this is why it’s great for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Scientists are still researching on how to repurpose the drug to ensure it’s effective in PD treatment.
As of February 2018, there is no recommended dosage for doxy when using it to treat PD.
2.) Protects Brain Cells
According to Elaine Del Bel, a Brazilian researcher, this antibiotic helps to manage PD by protecting cells and cell membranes from harm. Typically, in normal conditions of PD, a protein known as alpha-synuclein accumulates in the central nervous system. As a result, it causes degenerative damage to the cells.
This causes the death of dopaminergic neurons, and this is the reason why PD patients experience symptoms, such as stiffness, tremor, slow voluntary movements, and others. At the moment, no drug is capable of preventing this degenerative process.
However, after the Brazilian discovery, doxycycline seems to be a solution that many patients and scientists have been waiting for. The antibiotic offers a neuroprotective effect that protects the cells in the central nervous system. It alters how the alpha-synuclein degenerates and prevents its aggregation. This prevents damage to the brain cells.
Also, the drug appears to protect another kind of brain cells known as glial cells.
3.) It’s Affordable
According to PhRMA, traditional treatments for PD cost patients about $2,500 on drugs every year and $100,000 on therapy per patient. WebMD has also noted that the cost of treating PD has been increasing in Canada.
According to WebMD people with PD have experienced about 300 percent increase in treatment costs than those without the disease.
With doxy, this is a different case. All you need is a prescription, which can cost about $35 to $90 depending on various factors. This include type of dosage and seller. Online price comparison allows you to save on your antibiotics and focus on managing your condition.
In the long run, you won’t need to spend heavily on traditional Parkinsons’ treatment options, which have not been effective in managing the degenerative effect of the disease.
4.) Preliminary Results Show It’s Effective
There is still more research and analysis that are needed to help doctors learn more about doxy and its effect on neurodegeneration in Parkinson. With the available preliminary results, researchers are confident that the antibiotic is more effective in PD treatment than traditional treatment options.
In the Brazilian research, 40 mice were given 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), a neurotoxin that kills the dopaminergic neurons. At the end of the test, 38 mice had no symptoms of PD with only two developing the symptoms.
The same tests were performed in immortalized human cells. The results showed that the drug reduced the aggregation of alpha-synuclein by more than 80 percent. In this case, the viability of cells increased by more than 80 percent, too.
Studies show that this antibiotic medication has an anti-inflammatory effect that reduces the release of some cytokines. It also changes the expression of key genes involved in the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Doxycycline – The Takeaway
At this point, research studies have already yielded positive preliminary results. Much still needs to be done to make doxycycline an effective treatment for PD.
If you or your loved has PD, you can consult with a doctor about taking this antibiotic to manage the symptoms.
If you use the drug, be sure to adhere to the essential guidelines, including the recommended dosage. For more information and guidance, feel free to visit our blog or check out our free drug price-comparison website anytime.